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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old May 18th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #16
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Stelios, you will start to see noise when any gain is added, I don't even trust 0db....I try to use -3db as much as possible. (Why have -db settings if 0db is really 0). 6db and under is not very noticeable, but the grain is there. Seems like when you get over 12db it starts to get more noticeable, to me anyway.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #17
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I don't like going above +6dB, personally...
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Old May 19th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #18
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Some great advice people. I'm a Z5 newbie with a wedding to film in July. I usually film 1 wedding a year, being a non-commercial hobbyist.

The biggest thing I wished I could have changed on my last wedding shoot - with a VX2100 Sony - was to allow a shot to be framed with a candle between me and the happy couple. The auto focus got lost at an imortant point, which took me a couple of seconds (a long time!) to hit manual focus and fix it.

My tip James is to make sure the tripod is level - 16:9 really stands out if you're on a slight tilt.

The confidence with using auto with the Z5 is warming. I'll set AGC to 12db. :)
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 11:14 AM   #19
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Hi, James . . .

How did the wedding shoot work out? If you shot full-auto did this produce a good looking video? I hope you had great success with the new camera.

I don't have the Z5, but have the very similar Z7U. I do most, if not all of my shooting, using the manual controls the camera offers for exposure, focus, white balance, etc. Once you have time with the camera to practice with the various settings that control manual settings, I think you will find it will make your work in post production a lot easier. You won't have to worry about and waste time colour correcting or trying to fix the exposure the camera didn't get right.

If you are looking to get the most from your Z5, have a look at the Vortex Media site and check out their Z7U training DVD. It is a fantastic instructional video that would work for any Z5U owner since about 90% of the feature set is the same as for the Z7U. Doug Jensen who is the host of the video, and a pro shooter, goes over everying that will get you up-to-speed with recomendations for both NTSC and PAL users. He makes it all seem so easy and makes the challenge of learning to "shoot like a pro" fun too.

I have a lot of the Vortex DVD's, and other products, and not one has been a disapointment.

When you have a few mins. please let us know how the wedding shoot turned out. And also, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on using the Z5.

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Old May 24th, 2009, 08:25 AM   #20
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Hi, James . . .

If you are looking to get the most from your Z5, have a look at the Vortex Media site and check out their Z7U training DVD. It is a fantastic instructional video that would work for any Z5U owner since about 90% of the feature set is the same as for the Z7U. Doug Jensen who is the host of the video, and a pro shooter, goes over everying that will get you up-to-speed with recomendations for both NTSC and PAL users. He makes it all seem so easy and makes the challenge of learning to "shoot like a pro" fun too.
I enthusiastically second Ian's recommendation of Jensen's Z7 DVD for Z5 owners, especially for beginners like me who are new to this level of camera. The Sony manual that comes with the Z5 is O.K., but after reading it several times, I was still pretty much stuck doing everything in "automatic" mode with default settings. After going through Jensen's DVD twice, I am now shooting almost exclusively in manual mode and the quality of my shooting, although still far from professional, has improved greatly.

Although the DVD was made before the Z5 was introduced, the vast majority of the material is directly applicable to the Z5. I was going to sell the DVD once I had viewed it, but I'm going to hang onto it.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #21
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Hi. Many thanks for all your advice and help - it was much appreciated. The wedding went OK and I'm very pleased with the quality of the footage. However, a few small problems
(i) I set everything to Auto, but I think this may have caused another issue.....I'm assuming with auto-focus the camera focuses on a certain object - anything that then walks in front of this causes problems for the auto focus?
(ii)I also found that when I wasn't panning, and people were walking from left to right, on playback their movement appeared jagged/stilted....it wasn't as smooth as I though it would be. I'm guessing that the shutter speed probably would have needed adjusted, but of course being in auto mode....is my logic correct?

I was very reluctant to shoot in manual mode, given the notice I was given for the wedding and it being my first time, I didn't want to get things drastically wrong - thanks for the tips regarding the DVD - it sounds like a very wise investment. Had I had more time etc I would have tried the manual route - something to think about for the future.

As to the Z5E - very happy with the quality of picture and ease of operation....whilst I'm still trying to get my head round the various options for 'manual' etc, overall I am very impressed with it. I didn't experience any 'rolling shutter' issues so would happily recommend it. With more experience etc I'll get a better handle on how to operate it better.

Last edited by James Curran; May 26th, 2009 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Updating
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by James Curran View Post
(i) I set everything to Auto, but I think this may have caused another issue.....I'm assuming with auto-focus the camera focuses on a certain object - anything that then walks in front of this causes problems for the auto focus?
Yes, you need to be in manual focus for anything that will confuse the auto-focus system. As someone once said - you're camera is brilliant at focusing on an object, but lousy knowing which object to focus on. You need to be able to tell it where you want the focus, and for this you need to be in manual mode.

Note that you can still leave the camera on auto for exposure/WB control and everything else, but put the focusing on manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Curran View Post
(ii)I also found that when I wasn't panning, and people were walking from left to right, on playback their movement appeared jagged/stilted....it wasn't as smooth as I though it would be. I'm guessing that the shutter speed probably would have needed adjusted, but of course being in auto mode....is my logic correct?
Where you shooting in 50i or 25p? What is the shutter speed used in that shot?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #23
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Hi. Thanks for your replies to-date. My apologies for the delay in replying to you! I was shooting in 25p and the shutter speed was 25. Due to the fact that I'd used the camera much, I was advised to put everything in auto.

Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by James Curran; June 16th, 2009 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old June 16th, 2009, 05:56 AM   #24
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I assume that shooting in 50i would be best for filming a wedding which will be exported to standard def DVD.
I've assigned the focus extender tool and turned macro focus option to off.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by James Curran View Post
I'm assuming with auto-focus the camera focuses on a certain object - anything that then walks in front of this causes problems for the auto focus?.
I disagree with Ben, and say no to this. The camera's auto-focus system is purely contrast based, and people walking in front of the camera will only make it refocus if the people closer are of higher contrast.

So if you're focused on the bride and groom (in black and white respectively) and a grey suit walks between you you'll find the camera ignores the suit. Conversely if you're filming a grey suit and a polka-dot dress comes between you, the camera will indeed refocus (as I would too).

Yes William - shoot in 50i to capture the day with the most realistic, smoothest motion. You can always muck about with it in post later, and most importantly, hit 'undo'.

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